If you are like most job seekers, the mere thought of looking for a job between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day is discouraging. The ads become fewer, it's harder to get the decision-maker on the phone, and then there are all of those annual distractions from your family. And with the unemployment rate still hovering far above normal, many people in transition simply stop looking for a few months.
But, believe it or not, the holidays can be the most productive time of the year to find a job. Here are five (and one half) tips for doing just that this November and December.
In Rhode Island, the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce enjoyed its largest turnout of the year at Twin River for its holiday "Business After Hours" event. It's often the only meeting per year that many business owners elect to attend. If they schedule one, try to drop in on your local chamber of commerce's or trade association's informal holiday gathering. Bring lots of business cards and stay visible.
2. Keep Searching Ads
Although there may be fewer advertised job postings during the holidays, the jobs that are posted often indicate an immediate need, and with fewer applicants in the mix, your odds will improve.
3. Involve Your Family
If the people who truly care about you won't help you find a job, who will? You may only see Uncle Tony and Aunt Liz once a year, but make sure they go home from Thanksgiving dinner with a good idea of how they might help you.
4. Boost Your Online Identity
Use any free time to add to your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or other social media platforms. Link to local job boards and job groups. Update any resume you might have in any online database, so that it's fresh for the new year.
5. Send Out Thank You Cards
Did anyone help you with your job search this year? Are there any managers who you believe might call you if there was an opening coming up? A small, quick holiday thank you card could make a difference, or at least keep you top of mind. Remember, many companies who elect to hire in January and February make that decision in October, November and/or December. And in some companies, new budgets kick in on January 1.
5½... Perhaps the Most Important Tip of All
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and Joyous Holiday Season!
Steven R. Porter is a marketing professional with over 15 years experience as a professional retailer, merchandiser, writer, web designer and ad executive. Steve served as Marketing & Public Relations Director for Lauriat's Bookstores throughout the 1990s. In 1999, he founded SPIMAC, LLC, providing hands-on, personal marketing services to businesses, including Match.com, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, and Disney. Since 2004, Steve has served as Outreach Consultant for JobsInRI.com, educating both job seekers on how to use the internet more effectively to find the best jobs, and employers on how to position themselves as the employer of choice to attract the best candidates. For more information, visit StevenPorter.com.